Shoppers snap up bargains as the Japanese retail giant shuts its 25-year-old department store in Causeway Bay Shoppers and neighbours bid farewell to department store Mitsukoshi last night as it closed its doors for the last time in Causeway Bay. The 25-year-old store, which opened in Hennessy Road in 1981, was one of the Japanese department stores that symbolised the retailing boom in the 1980s. Others such as Daimaru, Yaohan and Isetan have all closed their outlets in the city in the past decade. Mitsukoshi was forced to close because landlord Hysan Development refused to renew its lease last year. The property developer plans to demolish the Hennessy Centre, where Mitsukoshi has been located. However, it might not be the end of Mitsukoshi in Hong Kong - the store's chairman, Junji Hagino, said the retailer was not withdrawing from Hong Kong altogether. Instead, it would look for other premises to reopen the store in a year or two. General manager Seiichi Suzuki said: 'We love the Hong Kong market.' Customers who visited the store yesterday shopped as if there were no tomorrow - some even queued up before it opened yesterday morning. Most products were on discount and hundreds of customers left with a host of shopping bags. Many of them stood in front of the store to take pictures. 'Of course, I want to capture this last moment,' said Jenny Chan Ho-yan, who was taking pictures at the store and has lived in Causeway Bay for two decades. 'Mitsukoshi is more than a department store to me because it's often my meeting point with friends and I often walked through it as a short cut to get to the other side of Causeway Bay.' Housewife Wong Sau-yin remembered how shopping in Mitsukoshi was a symbol of status. 'If you didn't have the money, you wouldn't dare to go in to even window-shop,' she said. 'And I felt so proud the first time I went to the cafe there to have tea and read a Japanese magazine I bought there.' Shanghai tourist Xia Jun, visiting the city with her family, said she was sad to see Japanese department stores closing as they represented good quality and good brands. More than 100 staff members will be dismissed in the closure. Mr Hagino said he could not guarantee hiring them all again if a new outlet opened later. 'It's too soon to tell,' he said, adding that a farewell party would be held for the staff. Mitsukoshi, Japan's third biggest department store chain, closed its branch in Tsim Sha Tsui's Sun Plaza in 1995 because of a steep rent rise. Hysan announced early this year its HK$1.2 billion plan to demolish the Hennessy Centre later this year for redevelopment in late 2009 with larger retail space.